With pet food exports worth over US$1.693 billion in 2019, Thailand has nowbecome the world’s fourth-largest pet food exporter after the United States,the European Union and China.

Thailand’s Department of Trade Negotiations said the country’s pet foodexports have risen 4% year-on-year ever since its ASEAN neighbors andcountries like China, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru and Hong Kongremoved import tariffs as part of free trade agreements (FTAs). These FTApartners accounted for US$954 million of total Thai pet food exports in 2019.

With the exception of Japan, South Korea and India, which are still collectingtariffs on some types of pet food from Thailand, the rest of the country’s FTApartners made it possible for Thailand to have a strong pet food exportsperformance even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Auramon Supthaweethum,director general of the Department of Trade Negotiations said Thailand’s petfood exports remain strong in the first quarter of 2020, reaching US$466million, which is 10% more year-on-year, with dog and cat food representing81% of the total.

“The value of pet food exports to India, the United States, ASEAN countriesand Australia was US$19 million, US$104 million, US$111 million and US$22.5million, respectively, marking an increase of 52%, 19%, 13% and 9%respectively,” said Supthaweethum in a report from The Nation/Asia NewsNetwork.

FTAs a boon for Thailand trade

Pet food exports to New Zealand are also bound to increase in 2020 as Thailandrecently got approval to bring in pet food containing beef. The approval wasgiven by the Ministry of Primary Industries of New Zealand following bilateraltalks late in 2019. Thailand’s export of pet food to New Zealand has risen by531% since the start of their FTA agreement.

Meanwhile, companies like Thai Union Group are responding to Supthaweethum’scall for local pet food manufacturers and exporters to take advantage ofcurrent favorable market environments made possible by the FTAs. A majorproducer of seafood-based food products, Thai Union Group recently announcedthat it will invest more in the pet food sector to enable the group to addvalue to its by-products from seafood processing. In 2019, strong performancefrom the frozen seafood and pet food business helped the group achieve anoverall 46.5% year-on-year increase in its first quarter net profit ofUS$39.91 million.

Source: Alma Buelva Petfoood Industry

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